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Khanquest in Vegas
Khan pulls out unanimous decision over Maidana in epic brawl

Ringside report by Andreas Hale & Anthony Springer Jr.
Photos by Chris Cozzone

They said it had the potential to be fight of the year and it delivered with action, drama and just about everything you need to make a big fight.

In an all-action war, Amir Khan showed that he had heart, a chin and enough in the reserve to pull out a difficult and hard fought unanimous decision victory over the heavy-handed Marcos Maidana.

It was almost an early night for Khan (24-1) as he came out drilling the Argentinean with crisp combinations and a stabbing shot to the body that dropped Maidana at the end of the first round. Any other fighter would have stayed on the canvas, but Maidana (29-2) wasn’t about to go out that early. Maidana would rise and make it out of the round and the fight was nothing but action from that point on.

Both fighters were the complete opposite of their opponent in a fight that featured dramatic changes throughout. Khan was sharper and his crisp combinations and nimble footwork presented problems for Maidana. But on the other hand, Maidana was a bull in a china shop as he plowed forward and winged loaded power shots from all angles and ripped Khan in close quarters with vicious uppercuts.

Although Khan was in control early and strafed his rugged opponent with multiple combinations, Maidana managed to turn it into a brawl and took advantage as he began to wear down Khan in the middle rounds. A point would be deducted from Maidana for using his elbow but the plan to take Khan out of his game was well underway. With an ebb and flow of the fight that changed on a whim, Maidana came scorching into the 10th round and abused the Brit with an overhand right that sent Khan reeling. The pride of the UK would be brutalized by a vicious assault but somehow managed to stay on his feet through two minutes of a shellacking that referee Joe Cortez looked dangerously close to stopping.

It was full survival mode from that point on as Khan showed a tremendous heart by staying in the pocket and fighting off the surging Maidana in the championship rounds. Maidana knew a knockout was necessary in the final frame but Khan wouldn’t allow his opponent to score what would have been a violent end to an entertaining fight.

In the end, Khan’s early knockdown and ability to make it out with his senses intact proved to be the difference as judges saw it in his favor 114-111 (twice) and 113-112.

With the victory, Khan will look toward others in the 140lbs division. With Timothy Bradley and Devon Alexander facing off in January, a likely opponent could emerge. But Khan can most certainly bask in the glory of the toughest victory of his career.

“I worked hard and came back stronger than ever,” the 24-year-old said afterwards. “He’s a strong fighter and hits hard but my chin was tested I’m not taking anything away from him. He’s a great champion. I proved today that I have a chin. I’m a boxer and if I go into the ring I know I’m going to get hit and I took everything he gave me.”

– Andreas Hale

Ortiz & Peterson Battle To Majority Draw

It was “Vicious” Victor Ortiz’ fight to lose, and although he didn’t take the loss, he ended up coughing up the victory with a majority draw decision against Lamont Peterson in 10 round welterweight action.

Ortiz (28-2-2) took advantage of a stagnant Lamont Peterson and mounted a lead in the first half of the fight and seemed to be well on his way to a victory.

The early advantage was punctuated by a 10-7 third round where Ortiz dropping Peterson twice and appeared to be in control. But Peterson (28-1-1) was able to counter Ortiz’ advances and began to land power shots on the face of Ortiz.

Even though Peterson was down on the scorecards, he managed to dig himself out of a deep hole while taming the young Californian’s advances with counter hooks. Perhaps if Ortiz utilized his jab more (only 2 connected out of 121 thrown) he could have controlled the action, but it would be Peterson scoring often enough to take the late rounds as the scorecards read 95-93 in favor of Peterson and 94-94 even; Ending the fight with a majority draw.

“I feel like crap,” a disgruntled Ortiz said afterwards. “I thought I pulled it off he didn’t hit hard. But you know… sh*t happens.”

On the other side of the ring, Peterson was pleased with his performance and knew that he needed to muster up some offense to mount a comeback.

“I feel good,” Peterson said. “I knew the fight was close I wanted to try and win as many rounds as possible.”

Could a rematch be in order?

– Andreas Hale

Guzman Smashes Davis

Joan Guzman earned a TKO win over Jason Davis due to a corner stoppage at :29 in the second frame of a scheduled 10 round welterweight bout.

A blow to the back of the head and a low blow sent Davis to the canvas twice in the opening round. The latter shot appeared to take all the wind out of Davis, as the fighter seemed lucky to get out of the opener. Guzman showed no mercy in the second, backing his deflated foe into the corner, firing away with the intent to do damage. Davis’ corner intervened before the referee, sending two white towels flying into the ring.

The win moves Guzman to 31-0-1.

– Anthony Springer Jr

Mitchell Pounds Out Sykes

American heavyweight prospect Seth Mitchell (20-0-1, 14 KOs) scored a 5th round TKO victory over former NABA heavyweight champion Taurus Sykes in a scheduled eight round match up. The former Michigan State linebacker was the more powerful and the better boxer from the outset as Sykes (25-7-1) in-ring experience couldn’t help him against the up and coming Mitchell. But it would be conditioning that would be Sykes downfall as “Mayhem” dropped Sykes in the 5th with a grazing right hook. Sykes would rise but was clearly fatigued and fell again after what seemed like a missed punch. Sykes tried to pull himself up but was too tired to pull himself off the canvas as referee Jay Nady reached the count of ten at 1:42.

– Andreas Hale

Bogere Earns Decision Over Fernandez

Sharif Bogere (18-0) kept up his winning ways, defeating Chris Fernandez (19-11-1) in a hard fought eight round unanimous decision. Referee Kenny Bayless came close to halting the bout in the fifth, but Fernandez fired a wild shot that caught air in the midst of the Bogere barrage against the ropes. Rogere continued his assault in round six, bouncing around, dodging shots from Fernandez and firing back at will. Fernandez, conversely seemed flatfooted and ill prepared to deal with his surging opponent. All three judges scored the bout 80-72.

– Anthony Springer Jr

Vargas Outpoints Montano

Jessie Vargas kept his undefeated record intact as he out hustled Ramon Montano en route to a eight round unanimous decision in super lightweight action. Vargas’ dedication to the body early paid off as he slowed down Montano’s (17-9-2) offensive output early on with several wicked shots to the torso. It would pay off in the end as Vargas improved to 13-0 with scores of 80-72, 79-73 and 78-74 on the scorecards.

– Andreas Hale

Kavanagh Wrecks Thornton

Jamie Kavanagh (4-0) steamrolled Jacob Thornton (2-2) in super lightweight action. From the opening bell, Kavanagh went on the attack, blitzing his opponent. A stiff left hook to the body put Thornton to the canvas at the :44 mark in the first round.

– Anthony Springer Jr

Caballero Cruises Past Guillen

Randy Caballero improved to 6-0 with a clean sweep of Robert Guillen (5-9-3) on the judges’ scorecards in super bantamweight action. Guillen went down in the first round and was outboxed the rest of the way as scores all read 40-35 in favor of Caballero.

– Andreas Hale

Blanco Knocks Out Medina

Alfonso Blanco (2-0) defeated Gustavo Medina (1-3-1) via TKO in the third round. The undefeated Blanco controlled the pace throughout the duration of the contest. Blanco battered Medina in the third, and when the Eloy, Arizona fighter got wobbly, the referee immediately stepped in and halted the bout. The official time was 2:45.

– Anthony Springer Jr


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